House approves farm bill


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a new farm bill July 27 despite a White House veto threat and “no” votes from the majority of House ag committee Republicans.
Representatives approved the bill (H.R. 2419) by a 231-191 vote.
House divided. The ag committee Republicans were protesting what they described as a last-minute tax increase, included to fund new spending initiatives.
Likewise, the Bush administration has said the action by the Democratic leadership narrowed support for the farm bill and lessened its chances for success.
The controversial provision, authored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, would provide an additional $4 billion to farm bill nutrition programs by a tax on foreign-owned companies operating within the U.S.
A farm bill first. Lawmakers supported $1.6 billion for specialty crop growers, a first for a farm bill, and provided an additional $4 billion for the food stamp program.
The House version continues the basic structure of most current farm programs, with some upward adjustments in loan rates and target prices. The bill also includes more funding for conservation, nutrition and renewable energy programs.
Most of the 31 amendments that were allowed to be debated on the floor were defeated or withdrawn.
Included. Highlights of the $286 billion, five-year House bill include:


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